I waited a few days to post about the show this weekend for a few reasons. One, life in general. Two, needed video evidence. Three, I wanted to make sure my horse show high wasn’t false.
He was amazing…for a baby.
Keeping in mind this the first show hes been to with me, maybe fourth EVER and I had no expectations. Mostly, I just wanted to get out there and school a little bit.
The show day dawned way too early, since I woke up before my 4:30 AM alarm, and I forgot how much I love/hate being up on show days before the sun. I was the first to arrive, which was surprising, since I was running a tad late. Someone had cuddled with Levi/sipped on coffee/watched re-runs of Forensic Files too long. I was part of the hauling crew, but luckily my father was amazing the night before and hooked up my trailer to the truck AND checked all the tires. Dad wins!
It was a balmy 65 degrees at 5:30 AM in DECEMEBER and I was actually rushing around sweating my butt off. My body is not enjoying the random fluxuations in temperatures one bit. Get it together OH.
Like I said, I was the first to the barn at 5:50 AM…which was peculiar because departure time was supposedly 6:30AM. I went ahead and gave everyone a flake, loaded my tack and twiddled my thumbs for 20 minutes until the show party arrived. I helplessly “helped” feed the horses (all 30 of them), since I dont work there, but we got it done. By that time it was close to 6:30 and we hadn’t loaded one horse. I HATE being late…more than anything, especially with a young horse, who doesn’t load well, for a show…but I kept my cool and rolled with it.
Luckily, Bacardi, nor none of the 6 other horses going, gave a fuss loading and we were on our way by 7AM. (Good boy! But also, eeeek.)
Show started at 8AM.
We arrived about 20 minutes before the beginning of the show and our party ended up being most of the Jumper Classes.
I registered for 6 classes, not remembering whatthefuck the difference was between them, figuring I could scratch later and tacked up so quick I don’t think Bacardi knew what was happening.
We had ten minutes to warm up in the ring, with the jumps, and hell yeah I wanted that opportunity to do so.
Unfortunately so did the rest of my barn and the others competing , so the relatively large indoor was cramped with massive OTTBs and WBs flying around the ring jumping jumps every which way. It was a madhouse.
|not a pic from warmup|
Bacardi handled that situation quite well. In fact, better than I did. I was all jumpy because we literally had no time to warm up, much less over fences, and I WANTED TO DAMMIT. The ribbon whore inside me secretly wanted some satin.
Luckily, we were able to pop over every jump on course. In which he refused every.single.one the first time.
Oh, so its going to be one of those days? Cool. Cue worried ribbon whore into argument with adulting, rational self.
The hurried second and third times around he jumped just fine and without fuss and I got our butts out of that ring.
He could’ve care less about standing around in the crowded waiting area, which was pleasantly surprising and I made The Boy snap a few photos to prove it.
|How to make your 17.2hh gelding look small; be me|
Speaking of, The Boy volunteered to come, brought me coffee and videoed our rounds. What a guy!
After that whirlwind of a warm-up, ALL of us from EME realized not a single one of us knew our rounds. Where were they even posted? What are jumps? How do we do this?
There were three separate rounds with two having jump offs. No way were we going to memorize those. Um…halp.
EME devised a plan to photograph them with our handy dandy cellphones and DURING our rounds, shout them out to each rider. SOMEHOW I was delegated to do this after a few times of riders missing jumps due to soft voices or unclear instructions and we soon learned that “WHITE WITH YELLOW DIAGONAL” meant the white jump with yellow flowers on the diagonal and “RED WINDOW TO WALL” meant rollback turn left to a red brick wall fence, etc. Apparently I have a huge, booming voice with clear and concise directions. It was fun, but disastrous for most. I eventually ended up learning the courses, kind of, and still got lost on one of my rounds because I barely knew the course and couldn’t hear my caller. Thanks guys, love you too.
|Less than stellar SS but you get the gist|
The organizers were totally chill with our shouting and crazy cheering/laughing antics and thanked us over and over for making the show fun and showing up… but some of the boarders and trainers were totally not chill.
One trainer with a mean RBF I even caught muttering, “this shit is ridiculous, how is this allowed” and I fueled the fire spitting back “Well this isn’t hunters and we just got here, its within the rules and the organizers are fine with it. This isn’t dressage either. Would you like us to tell your riders the courses too?”
Yeah, that put me on her shit list for the morning.
She hated us for cheering for her riders, even asking us to “calm down” when they went double clear. They were very obviously hunter riders, in full braids and tailcoats and quite serious about winning. I think RBF trainer was mildly pissed our frazzled group of eventers, totally dressed in polos, were kicking their butts in some classes, but whatever.
RBF trainer even said to me once, noticing the red ribbon in B’s tail, “Why did you bring a horse who kicks to a show where other people are around him? Can you stand like, over there, away from everyone”. Um, OK lady, who are you? Queen?
|I spy a red ribbon|
I politely said back with a smile, “Well that’s what the ribbon is for, and I’m pretty sure he could care less right now *gestures towards half asleep horse*, and the ribbon is just a precaution, but sure I can go stand where you want me to”.
|Obviously giving a lot of fucks|
And I did because I’m a reasonable human being. I can understand the reasoning behind her snide remark, but seriously, he hasn’t kicked anyone in ages. The last person he kicked was me. But I would feel horrible if he bashed someone, knowing his propensity to lash out when nervous, and not give warning. Like I said to her, precaution.
I’m going off on a tangent again though, apologies.
Bacardi’s rounds were more than I could ask of him. We had two refusals total for the day, one in each class, but honestly, I could care less about that.
I was ill-prepared, it was his first jumper show ever, he was rushed into the arena and it was all a little overwhelming.
Our first round, I still cant figure it out. He was locked on to the first fence, I was riding (for once) and then he just sidestepped and was like NOPE. We swung around and nailed it the second time, and the rest of the round was marvelous.
|Turn N' burn|
His canter was a dream and he was really listening to me. I wasn’t ducking horribly and we were working as a team. I was so proud, even if we didn’t make the jump off. Only 2 riders did, mostly due to going off course or a fence knock down, and we ended up 3rd out of 10! Still beating those hunters who had had the courses memorized probably for days, HA SUCK IT. If he hadn’t refused that first fence, we might’ve actually been in contention for the blue. That was so cool for me, getting our first ribbon together.
The second course was the speed jumper round. It was twisty and had 3 rollback turns. I literally did not know it at all, and pretty much missed the rollback to fence 5 and we had a run-out. Again, not his fault. we also had a weird disagreement from 1 to 2, and he really didnt hear my outside leg and blew right through and we almost crashed into another fence. Fantastic, haha. This might;ve been his fault, since he geeked at fence 1 again, but whatever. Baby moment. If I had known the course I think I could’ve ridden much better and we would’ve been fine. He was nailing his rollbacks and felt so responsive to me- I was elated.
|I actually really love this blurry SS|
|Really really good picture of us over a fence *eyeroll*|
My favorite thing is The Boy telling Supertrainer the course, hilarious. He had them all memorized in five minutes and none of us did! HA.
In time, he will be able to cut turns out and be a little quicker between fences, but hes still green AF.
We ended up 4th out of 10 in that round, as we had that refusal and the one hunter rider was QUICK in her turns.
Again, really cool to think that we could’ve placed higher with a little more preparation and I cant wait for the next one. Its in January by the way, my birthday weekend!
I ended up scratching from the 3rd round classes since I figured his little brain had done enough for me and I wanted to keep the experience positive. Almost all of my EME barnmates placed or got a ribbon and one of our ladies ended up Champion and got a nice trophy and a tri-color. Comin’ for you next time!
|Ends Meet Eventing Team|
Altogether, a really well organized show and wonderful barn. It was to DIE FOR. I’ve never seen a cleaner, nicer, more organized tack room in my life. There were ponies in the aisles getting braided/washed and I almost died looking at their dainty, shaved faces. They had four Corgi’s and a heeler “running” around and they were friendly and adorable. Their show office/viewing area was jaw-dropping. It looked like the inside of someones house mansion! The arena was gorgeous and the footing was definitely well maintained. For a barn that was so lavish the entry fees were reasonable, even for me. We were so pleased that the office staff and organizers were so warm and kind to us, we almost forgot about RBF trainer and her riders.
I will be going back to that barn, it was such a worthwhile experience!